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Mexican Chicago

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Gabriela Arredondo is a renowned historian and associate professor of Latino studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The author based her thesis on the revolutionary content of the Mexican ethnic group between 1916 and 1939. In these periods Mexicans were a different ethnic group though it worked to be assimilated into a city that had a renowned history of incorporating the immigrants and the newcomers. For example, based on the revolutionary context of origin of the Mexican in Chicago between 1916 and 1930, Arredondo believes that these Mexicans did not merely form part of the ethnic groups that worked to be assimilated into a city with long history of absorbing newcomers.
In addition, supporting and suggesting a new understanding of the identity formation Arredondo argues that Mexicans wielded tools of identification that emerged in the revolutionary Mexico. These avant-garde tools collectively battled the ethnic groups prejudice such as Italians, Poles, African Americans and the Irish communities. Finally, in the direct view of Mexicans, they highlighted tremendous and unique differences among themselves. These differences were based on gender and class. In the discussion of becoming “Mexican” in Chicago during the early 20th century, Arredondo not only explores the identity construction but also comes up with a provision and telling insight of the repercussions of this identity formation process.
In my opinion, although the author’s attention to the homeland circumstances of the Mexicans in Chicago is warranted, her elaboration of the analogy in this context is largely flawed, incomplete and inaccurate. For example, in her attempts to compare Mexican immigrants with the European immigrants, Arrerondo has virtually ignored a number of historical factors that may have contributed to their acceptance status and their